Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) celebrated the 36th anniversary of 20th July 1974 Peace Operation which was a real landmark. The crowd, having gathered in the Yavuz Landing Beach the night before, waited the moment that brought peace to the island and freedom to Turks living in Cyprus 36 years before, with ‘’Dawn Turn’’. Even though sometimes different opinions about the time span following 20th July 1974 came up, all Cypriot Turks are like-minded about the fact that 20th July 1974 is an interference stopping the massacres. If the opinion had not been arranged and Greek Coup had been successful, without doubt the massacres in Murataga, Sandallar, Atlılar, Taskent villages would have happened in the whole island. Even Greece and Greek populated southern Cyprus can talk frankly about the day before 20th July 1974.
Greek Ta Nea newspaper analysed the time span before 20th July 1974 and said that Greece in the early 1950 set up EOKA organization in order to bind Cyprus to itself. This organization terrorized police stations, public sector and Turk villages in the island showing its aim as picking a civil war and pave the way for Athens’ interference. This statement of the newspaper was regarded righteously as ‘’ the confession came up after years’’. Greek Administration, believing that in order to make the whole world support the Greek Argument, it is important to convince firstly its own people, censors talking about the time before 1974 in front of the press. When the Greek Administration’ EU membership ceased the pressure, confessions related to the time between 1963-1974 increased. Andres Dimitrius, former EOKA B member, in his declaration published in Alithia newspaper on 22th November 2004, he confessed that Taskent massacre 30 years ago was made by Greek soldiers coming from Hirokitia village and they raped the women living in the region. Moreover, he used the statement ‘’ whatever we have done, we have done it with the legal force of the government.’’ Antonis Angastiniyotis who described the massacres in the three villages in his documentary named as ‘’Brutality to Cypriot Turks and The Other Side of The Coin’’, was marginalized in his own country. The documentary, in which it is told that 126 Turks were executed by shooting without making a distinction between women or children and buried in mass graves, was not telecasted on Greek TV channels.
What is much more important than these confessions is the decision made by Athens Court of Appeal on 21th March in 1979. A Greek man sued for damages when his son was killed in Greek plane accident while flying over Nicosia and bring this case to the Court of Appeal. This case was resulted in Greek Court of Appeal decision. According to the decision, Turkey’s interference to Cyprus as guarantor government within the frame of London and Zurich Treaties are legal. Main responsible was Greek soldiers against whom an action had been brought. Although Athens Court of Appeal is not fully responsible for analyzing the massacres before 20th July 1974, it puts forth historical facts according to chronologic order. But the events on the island are much more than these.
The Same Cruelty to Bosnia by Cyprus
Heavy massacres were done in Cyprus, lasted from December Bloody Noel to 1974. In these massacres, 500 Turks were executed by shooting, hundreds of them were buried alive and thrown to the boreholes and caused people to leave their homes. According to the decision of Greek Administration, Turks were doomed to live on the 3 percent of the island and deprived of their basic food and drink. What UN has done and has not done about the situation are the main factors that would have effects on this process. On 17th March 1964, UN Peace power soldiers were on the island and as a first step they headed for disarmament. USA deputy foreign minister George W. Ball, in his report related to the time, said that while asking for a Peace Force from UN Security Forces , Makarios was aiming at preventing Turkey and make Greeks continue to massacre But UN Peace Power between 1963-1974 was not able to prevent the inhumane massacres, emptying houses, restriction to the walking freedom. On the contrary, it paved the way for massacres by collecting the guns with which Turks were going to be able to defend themselves.
The events in Murataga- Sandallar- Atlilar, Alâminyo, Taşkent, Ayvasil; Greeks’ intentions to remove Turks from the island by pretending to be picking a civil war; UN Security Forces’ Responsibilities about the happenings and the statements in an interview never getting out of my mind, make us think that these massacres in Cyprus 74 years ago had been prevented just before the Bosnia-Herzegovina massacres. In an interview during the commemoration ceremony of Srebrenica Genocide, a Bosnian authority said that Bosnians, who had gathered within the frame of Bosnian National movement, met about determining identities. According to this, Bosnia-Herzegovina Catholics and Orthodoxies need to identify one more time as they were adopting Croatian and Serbian identities. The man with whom we have interviewed was saying that he and some other Bosnians demanded to be registered as ‘’Turk’’ but they were not able to have support of the majority of people and he added that ‘’If then our proposal had been accepted, we would have had a ‘homeland’’, Turkey would have had to interfere in the war and had prevented the genocide. Without doubt, these statements of the man were completed by sentences of Radko Mladiç who has been wanted for 15 years now, saying “ We presented this city to Serbia in memory of the rebellion during the time of Ottoman Empire, it is time for us to avenge upon Turks.’’ because Bosnians were named as Turk because of their Muslim identities, were raped during the whole time of war, were exposed to 80 torturing methods and were killed in inconceivable methods. During the war between 1992-1995 200.000 Bosnians were killed; today there are two thousand Bosnians whose identities are being determined as well as thousands of them whose graves have just been located.
One of the common turning points of Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina was that they were both extracted from Ottoman Empire on the same day 4th June 1878. They were exposed to brutal genocide methods. Serbians, wanted to expand Serbia and do not want Drina river to be border and make it a river flowing into the inlands of Serbia. Greeks wanted to bind whole Cyprus to Greece. Serbians reached their goals. All cities in which genocide crime is brutally committed were cleaned from Bosnians and came under Serbian command. The plans of Greeks were stopped on 14th July 1974. Peace environment was riveted by the second step of the movement on 14th August 1974. TRNC president Dervis Eroglu statements ‘’ There is a geography that has been formed on Cyprus on 20th July 1974 and over this geography two separate governments, two separate publics, two separate democracies and two separate regions’’ in his celebration message, are showing the island’s current position. Turkey’s deputy minister Cemil Cicek, in his speech during the celebration ceremony, he answered the question ‘’Cyprus or EU?’’ saying ‘’Turkey always sides with Cyprus’’ He made some other important statements like this.
In both Cyprus and Bosnia Herzegovina obscurity and border conflicts are existent. Turkey is a country which has an effect on solutions to the problems in both countries and is the only country both Bosnia and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus trust. Turkish Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, attended the commemoration ceremony in their 15th Anniversary sing this anthem ‘’my dear Bosnia that I have founded/ I promise I will look protect you from everything/ because I am your son. These lines are the promises that Erdogan gave to Bosnians. The same promise had been given to Cypriot Turks before. On one side, Bosnians waiting for Turkey to become their homeland, on other side Cypriot Turks attending ‘’Dawn turn’’ express their feelings saying ‘now the day belonged to us and homeland had come’. If Turkey has increased its power on world conjuncture in recent times, Turks and Bosnians who are genocide victims have become the lucky side about getting their sovereignty on their own lands accepted. It is important for Bosnians to start struggling for a chance to get their lands that they had lost during the massacre and intensify the Bosnian population living on Serbia’s lands. On the other side, Turkey had better start working on making Cyprus widely known to the world. From the viewpoint of Cypriot Turks, it is necessary for Turkish authorities to use the statement ‘’ Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’’ instead of just ‘’Northern Cyprus’’
Gözde KILIÇ YAŞIN